Kort Hathhorn finishes a layup Friday against Coal Ridge. Hathhorn had 23 points in that game and scored 25 more at Grand Valley on Saturday as the boys basketball team beat the Cardinals, 77-68. The girls basketball team lost, 58-40.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Kort Hathhorn finishes a layup Friday against Coal Ridge. Hathhorn had 23 points in that game and scored 25 more at Grand Valley on Saturday as the boys basketball team beat the Cardinals, 77-68. The girls basketball team lost, 58-40.

Moffat County basketball teams split games at Grand Valley

— With Grand Valley threatening to eliminate a Moffat County lead late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs stepped up and made the plays to keep it comfortable.

Moffat County had built a 12-point lead against the Cardinals in the second half, but the lead shrank to single digits when MCHS forward Denton Taylor was whistled for a foul and technical foul. That gave Grand Valley four foul shots to cut the lead to five points — and the ball.

But the Bulldogs got a stop, followed by a 3 from Taft Cleverly and two more baskets before the period ended to push the lead to 57-45 entering the fourth quarter.

They would go on to win, 77-68, and improve to 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Western Slope League.

“Our kids really did well,” coach Eric Hamilton said. “They kept their heads, and we got some key baskets after that technical. That didn’t let the momentum swing.”

Grand Valley was looking to tie the Bulldogs with a win that would have pushed both teams to a 5-2 league record. But Moffat followed up its win against Coal Ridge on Friday with another big performance, pulling away at the end of the third and staying ahead the rest of the way.

Joe Camilletti scored 27 for the Bulldogs and Kort Hathhorn had 25, giving them a deadly 1-2 punch that the Cardinals couldn’t handle Saturday. It was Hathhorn’s second straight game with more than 20 points, and every member of the team came to play again.

“We pushed the ball quite a bit,” Hamilton said. “I think our guys played intense defense all game. I’m sure they're worn out now after two games, but we’re deep and we get a lot of good play from a lot of guys.”

3rd quarter dooms girls team

In the first game of the day, a defensive switch from Grand Valley made the difference, as the Cardinals ran away from Moffat County in the second half.

Just three points separated Grand Valley and Moffat County at halftime, but the Cardinals used a trapping defense to win the third quarter by a 19-6 margin and push the game out of reach on the way to a 58-40 win.

“In the third quarter, they put a half-court trap on us, and our girls just didn’t know how to handle it too well,” coach Matt Ray said. “That’s where they got their lead. That’s the type of thing we’ll work on for next time, obviously.”

The fourth quarter was close in scoring like the first two, but the damage had been done. Coming off a hard-fought game Friday in Craig, the Bulldogs didn’t have the legs to forge a comeback.

“The effort of the girls was good,” Ray said. “They didn’t give up. With the style we like to play, it didn’t help us to have back-to-back games, especially with being on the road.”

Moffat County is now 4-3 in the WSL but has home games against all the teams it's lost to coming the rest of the season.

“The more this team matures, the better we’re going to be,” Ray said. “We are a young team. We’ve got some growing pains, but we’ll work through those. I think we’re going to be fine.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.

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